When Grace Is Enough, But You Still Need To Forgive

When Grace Is Enough, But You Still Need To Forgive

A couple of months ago, I wrote about God's Grace and needing all I could get to make it through the stress of the season.

While writing, I prayed the height of the season's pressure would pass with the confession of my written words. Little did I know, it would only get worse.

In my moments of "just getting by" and leaning into God, what I didn't fully realize was the message God was sending.

Several times, I had these moments of dread, thinking, what if this is only the beginning? Then I would read something that said, good things come from the storms as they pass; trust in Him and the lessons He wants you to learn.

It slowly sank. What I thought was the peak of drama and an unprecedented season of undue stress was, in actuality, setting the tone for chronic chaos.

Romans 8:28 – "but we know that all things work together for the good for those who love God."

I prayed the words God was sending were not real. In fact, I denied them so much that I did not tell anyone. Then my family got COVID, and my husband, who in the time I've known him has only missed one practice, missed three in one week. And me, who rarely misses a game, missed two in a row.

After a couple of close losses, the team finally got a win, but it wasn't a win you wanted. There were a lot of penalties, and the way the game was played, the score should have been a lot wider. It wasn't a happy win.

This happened again the next week. Finally, three weeks later, they got the win they had been practicing for, and I knew they could get. Finally, I thought, here we go!

The very next week, my husband came home, and I knew something had happened. That week, leading up to a huge game, three starting linemen were removed from the game. The first due to poor choices. The next two, due to injuries. It was that week I told my husband the premonition I had and what I thought I heard God telling me so many weeks prior. He just nodded and said, "Yeah."

The team not only lost the game that week but lost their motivation. The lack of momentum was palpable, and the team knew they needed to win out the rest of the season to make the playoffs. A feat we knew was possible but not without its own challenges.

The next week, the QB was hit and benched. JV backups went in and played well, but they didn't get the win, playing against the division's best, top-ranked team. Thankfully, their playoff birth did not rely on that week's game. Two JV QBs contended for a spot in the cross-town rivalry game, and the team marched into the game with a chance- hearing rumors all week about the other team's injuries and hurt linemen as well.

Their playoff dreams did not last long, as it took almost two quarters to get a first down, and the team lost 31-0. Obviously, the loss was devastating, but you cannot play with half your momentum, missing key players, and still win.

The following week was similar, except they did make first downs, they did move the ball, and then they turned it over on the goal line, not once but twice, followed by a pick-six.

Walking to the post-game huddle, the boys were in visible tears, upset from their season's performance. No one wants their season to play out that way. One poor decision at the start of the season infiltrated and affected everything. It was as if there was a group project; half were invested and wanted 100%, and the other half were along for the ride, placing no effort to get there.

During this same time, our medically complex child failed a surgical procedure, and my parents both received life-altering diagnoses. It wasn't until I was on my knees pleading with God that I realized
drama that happened off the field years ago had followed me.

I had been harboring resentment and it was affecting how I was dealing with current chaos.

I always thought if the team does this, beats these people, does better than this team, and outplays that team, it won't matter. I will be okay!

It took a lot of inward thinking and processing what God was trying to teach me. I realized I NEEDED TO FORGIVE and understand there will be seasons the team will not play well, and seasons the team will be great.

People will come and go, and it will not be personal. Football is not life and death. Family is! Friends are. God is my rock. And forgiveness matters.

These last few months, I have sat and thought about my personal career and related it back to my husband and his team. I teach others to be "Humble, Hungry, and Smart." It's funny how now I see, this can be applied to both coaching and leading with integrity.

God has been pushing me to take my own advice.
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